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采访对象:汪关征/Interviewed: Wang Guanzheng

采访对象:汪关征

采访时间200723日中午

采访地点:于北京SOHO现代城草绿2607

整体 totality total picture overall 12

集体(主义) collectives collectivity 11

一致 homogeneity homogenous 7

时间 time period period of time 15

社会 society social societal 26

个人 individual individualistic 30

经验 experience 13

公共 public 11

大众 public (populace)   15

倾向() tendency inclination 7

语言 language 9

怀疑 doubt suspicion 5

质疑 suspicion question questioning 10

方法 method way  17

方式 manner way 43

(有)问题 problem questionable issue 54

() change become modification 8

状态 status 8

秩序 order 8

判断 judgment judges 20

创造() creative creativity 4

知识(分子) knowledge intellectuals 11

明确()   clarify clarity clear 20

针对 focus 9

角度 angles 5

态度 attitude stance 9

身份 identity 22

后身份 post-identity 9

可能性 possibilities 14

话语 discourse 5

权力 power 5

实验 experiment 6

国家 nation 6

概念 concept

 

 

独立 independent 1

意识形态 ideology ideologism 11

安全 safe unsafe safety 4

审批制度 censorship system 1

 

 

 

 

市场 market 8

传统 traditional 5

中国 China 31

money wealthy 2

机会 opportunity 8

诱惑 temptation 1

post 33

关系 relationship 39

生存谋生 survive living 4

商业的 commercial 2

Q:请汪老师先讲一下你对现在中国当代艺术发展现状的看法。

A:所以说从宏观上来谈,我觉得可能现在总的来讲就是一个发展过程,因为我觉得这个过程就是由一个整体怎么过渡到去认识不同的艺术家和不同的艺术,我觉得远远还没有过渡到这一步,因为我觉得一个国家的当代艺术以国家形式出现可能有利有弊吧,有可能是会得到更多的人或更多的关注,不利的一点就是它只能以一个整体出现,那么对我来讲,我认为这是个问题,因为我觉得这也是传统艺术当代艺术的一个区别,你想想十几年前,欧洲对中国的艺术都有一个整体印象,如果我们继续坚持这个整体的话,可能它只是替换了某一种材料和某一种形象,比如说在一段时间是龙、是凤凰、是竹子,是陶瓷、丝绸,最可能用一些其它的材料把这些材料替代了,那么这就是作为一个整体你要冒的风险,我对集体是很恐惧的,因为我曾经当过兵,跟60多个人在一起住过好几年,我觉得它给我带来的遗产有两个,一个就是痛恨一致,我认为所有的东西,无论是内在的还是形式上的一致,对我来讲好像心里上都有一种天生的免疫,我基本上觉得这个肯定就是有问题的,第二个就是对集体保持一种怀疑

Q:那你觉得艺术家应该投入注意力的是什么?

A:每个艺术家是不一样的。我觉得对我来讲我感兴趣的,实际上简单的说就是可能性,像我刚才说的我对现存秩序质疑,而且我觉得如果质疑秩序的话,它包括任何秩序政府秩序社会秩序知识秩序,还有就是规则,如果你是这种态度的话,其实我们通常说的艺术到底在什么地方就已经变得不重要了,重要的是你以什么样的方式展示质疑秩序的这种方法。比如说,意识形态商业明确可以最简单方式理解社会,这些东西已经潜在于我们内部的一种对这个世界的认知,就是唯一世界观,对我来讲,我认为这叫新意识形态主义,就是商业标准和政治标准天衣无缝的合作,垄断一切,那么我觉得当代艺术对一个不确定性判断的思维方式,在这样的语言环境里几乎是无法生存的,而且我觉得最要命的是——你知道一个民族要最大地进步……最大的就是你对可能性有要求,可能性只能建立在不确定的领域,这个世界什么东西你都可以把握住了……它对你没有任何可能性的时候,你觉得你还拥有创造吗?

Q:在这些展览中,你在意你的作品与观众的沟通吗?

A:其实……这里边涉及到很多问题,第一个问题就是刚才谈的大众到底存不存在?我们老是谈艺术跟大众,首先就是大众存不存在?就像我们两个这样对着说,你是大众还是我是大众?如果你是我不是,那为什么?换一句话来讲,我是你不是,依据又是什么?如果我们都找不到明确的依据的话,那我们俩都是大众,这样就不存在以一个……艺术家跟大众永远在形成一种独特的关系,这是问题的第一个,所以说这个问题本身一上来就是个很概念问题;第二个就是,如果真的存在艺术家大众关系的话,那么大众实际上不是跟艺术家直接沟通的,大众跟艺术家……如果我们要谈关系,那就是有构成关系的构成系统,第一个系统,教育系统,我们的教育系统不承担任何对当代艺术的教育……,第二,我们所有的美术馆中国严格意义上来讲我看不到一个真正意义上的美术馆,基本上是以出租场地来谋生的这么一个空间,这样的空间也不承担大众任何艺术的教育义务,那么我们的媒体永远对艺术的经验就只能把它当成一个舆论来阐释,你想想,最主要的大众跟艺术家的关系是在这样的一种环境下产生的,公众跟艺术家有关系,其实是由这三个不同的系统所产生的,如果这三个系统都不能建立起来,那么你可以想象,艺术跟大众之间到底存在什么关系?第三,我觉得艺术家跟大众之间不存在一个很固定关系

Q:你对所处的生存环境有什么看法吗?

A:举个例子吧,就像我们现在对城市看法,我觉得艺术家知识分子,包括建筑师都在谈,但是你感觉到更荒诞的是……不是批评城市,而是批评城市变得完全一致,有的时候你在批评这个城市的时候变得特一致,特没有个性,特没有差异,但是我觉得更有趣的是,批评使用的语言方法变得更一致,我开了很多关于对城市的这种讨论会,基本上就是批评会,而且我突然注意到这里边有两个问题,第一,批评城市是很安全的,无论从任何角度,把它骂得体无完肤,或者说把它说成狗屎都可以,因为非常安全,因为不涉及到任何,也不涉及到任何具体,所以说还能表明自己有批评态度,我觉得这是一种投机取巧方法,所以在这种状态下我拒绝以这样的方式来批评,因为这样的话就变成一种集体主义,表态运动,你不批评城市你就不带……我现在就认为有第二个问题出现,批评城市……为什么?英语的那个词WHY?你站在什么样的立场?我希望你用你的方式来说话,而不是说以一个公共方式来说话,尽管你批评的是一个公共的空间,实际上就回到我个人……比如说这样的态度的话,我认为你可以拥有你自己对这个城市的判断,其实城市对我来讲就是一个人造景观,就是我们的另一种乌托邦精神所产生出来的,这个东西……理想主义法西斯主义就在这条线上,就在这条钢丝上,其实我们的整个城市就是建立在这么一个钢丝上,它的乌托邦精神和它的法西斯主义倾向实际上有的时候就是这么一点点距离,在这个问题上,你对城市之间……你的态度是什么,我觉得这个时候你会用你的……比如说你是艺术家,或者你是作家,你会有你的语言方式来谈你的态度,而且我觉得不仅仅表明一个态度,因为我现在也听到很多……就是态度决定一切”,这其实很有问题态度决定一切就意味着所有的问题只要你举手或者不举手,那就是说回到一个公共……其实我在1996年做那个作品《生产》的时候就在调查这个问题,我为什么去了很多现场,去了公共空间?他们为什么要在这个地方成天坐着倾听别人谈自己?实际上就是在分享一个日常话语,就是说某一种个人在这样的一种声音里面已经变得非常不重要了,或者他认为不安全,那么通过这种集体主义的这种场所集体的一种话语方式,潜在的就把某种个人的东西转换成一种倾向公共声音,这样的话,大家都分享一种公共话语安全生存方式也一样,我觉得生存首先是不概念生存,就是你按照……你不用受到某一种潜在的诱惑,或者受到某种潜在的理论的挑衅,你把你的生活放在某一种暗示上,这种暗示就表明你是某一种文化态度,我觉得这个在北京还是比较明显的,就有的时候会具体地分配到穿衣、抽哪种烟、戴哪种眼镜,都有一种文化身份在里边,我觉得文化身份也是致命的,有的时候你的态度止于文化身份上,当你只满足于你代表了某一种文化身份的时候,其实你也就停止你再往下思考的一个机会,就是你表明了你……我感觉这就是我的生存方式

Q:外界对在中国发生的艺术的概括,这种情况是不是真的与整个中国的状况有关?而且是不是现在很多艺术家很相似确实是有其内在的原因而不止是外界的原因呢?

A:其实我觉得这个问题……对我来讲……就像刚才你要让我谈对目前这个东西的判断和这个判断基于什么,比如说有的时候我们说一天就是很长的时间,那就要看具体的一个事情,比如说刷一次牙、吃一顿饭,可能一个小时,这个时间事件之间就是这么一个关系,但是当一个文化的东西被判断或者被准确的判断,我觉得这个时间非常漫长,其实就像我们97年那个展览……到现在,就像你刚才谈的,实际上这种对中国当代艺术的整体判断,它实际上还有愈演愈烈的感觉,我觉得这个过程实际上十年可能还太,也许它还会延续,因为中国和这个世界的关系,这种发展……其实我觉得文化还是属于非常非常缓慢的,其实这个国家你可以看见……有的时候我们会在大街上看到特别时髦的汽车和特别时髦的手机,但是我们很多文化制度包括规定,实际上延续到20多年前……没有任何变化,比如我举个简单的例子,电影,电影的审批制度到现在完全一样,而且可能还比以前……所以说这个社会有一大批东西……实际上……没有变化的东西没有展现出来,所以说有的时候我们看见的是变化的东西……那么从这个意义上来讲,这个社会上实际上都让某一种东西回到了稍稍没有那么太大差异的基础上,它需要很长的时间,反过来,我觉得中国当代艺术也是这个问题,而且我不知道你有没有这个感觉,当时我们在……荷兰做完这个展览以,我记得特别清楚,我们当时觉得好像这样的大展可能将来就不会再发生了,但是没想到十年还有比这个更吓人的展览,那么我觉得可能有两个因素,一个因素就是有更多国家和更多的机构或者说更多的有人,开始对中国兴趣,也许我们那个时候,就是部分地……比如说某一种艺术类型、某一种基金会,开始对中国整体当代艺术感兴趣,现在可能由于中国的这种神话,导致了更多的人和机构从更多的角度关注中国,这可能是另外一种变化,……。第二,我就觉得,由于更多的人进入到这个领域,更多的艺术家会……他会和它产生一种关系,我觉得这个过程是我们必须走的,但是我也注意到,有很多艺术家实际上已经在开始做他们的工作,我觉得这部分艺术家可能比十年前也更多

 

Interviewed: Wang Guanzheng

Time: Noon, Feb. 3, 2007

Location: Grass Green 2607, SOHO Modern City, Beijing

整体 totality total picture overall 12

集体(主义) collectives collectivity 11

一致 homogeneity homogenous 7

时间 time period period of time 15

社会 society social societal 26

个人 individual individualistic 30

经验 experience 13

公共 public 11

大众 public (populace)   15

倾向() tendency inclination 7

语言 language 9

怀疑 doubt suspicion 5

质疑 suspicion question questioning 10

方法 method way  17

方式 manner way 43

(有)问题 problem questionable issue 54

() change become modification 8

状态 status 8

秩序 order 8

判断 judgment judges 20

创造() creative creativity 4

知识(分子) knowledge intellectuals 11

明确() clarify clarity clear 20

针对 focus 9

角度 angles 5

态度 attitude stance 9

身份 identity 22

后身份 post-identity 9

可能性 possibilities 14

话语 discourse 5

权力 power 5

实验 experiment 6

国家 nation 6

概念 concept

 

 

独立 independent 1

意识形态 ideology ideologism 11

安全 safe unsafe safety 4

审批制度 censorship system 1

 

 

 

 

市场 market 8

传统 traditional 5

中国 China 31

money wealthy 2

机会 opportunity 8

诱惑 temptation 1

post 33

关系 relationship 39

生存谋生 survive living 4

商业的 commercial 2

 

 

 

 

Q: Could you please first talk about your view on the current state of contemporary art in China?

 

A: On a macro level, I think we are now in the middle of a process of development. And this is a process of undergoing a transition from seeing the total picture to getting to know individual artists and individual arts, a stage from which I feel we are still very far away. There are pros and cons when a country‘s contemporary art scene appears as a group. The good part is that it attracts more audience and more attention, and the negative part is that it can only appear as a totality. And that, to me, is a problem, which also points to the difference between traditional art and contemporary art. Think about it – over a decade ago, the image that Europe had about Chinese art was an overall impression. If we were to continue our insistence on this totality, it could end up replacing materials or images of one kind with those of another kind– for example, dragon, phoenix, bamboo, porcelain, silk were used in a certain period, which were, eventually, replaced by some other materials. This is the risk you have to take when you present yourself as a totality. I myself am frightened by collectives, because I used to serve in the military, and I lived together with over 60 persons for many years. I’m left with two aftereffects from that experience. The first one is my hatred for homogeneity. I think I’m naturally immune to all things homogenous, either internally or externally. Basically I think a positive view on homogeneity is itself questionable. The second one is my suspicion for collectives.

 

Q: What then should an artist focus on, in your opinion?

 

A: That would be different to each artist. For myself, what I’m interested in is, simply speaking, possibilities. Like I just said, my suspicion for the existing order, and if I question order, which includes any form of order: governmental order, societal order, knowledge order and rules, if you [think this way] take this attitude, then what we often discuss, insofar as   where art is now, is no longer important. What’s important is [how] the way you display your method of questioning such orders.

 

For instance, through the clarity of commercialization and ideology (we) can understand the society in the simplest way. These have become our internalized way of recognizing the world, i.e., the only Weltanschauung. For me, I call this “New Ideologism,” which is a perfect collusion between commercial standards and political standards. It has a monopoly on everything. In that case, I think the way that contemporary art judges the uncertainties, can hardly survive in such a language context. And what is most fatal, I believe, is that when an ethnic group wants maximum progress… The maximum lies in your demands for possibilities. And possibility can exist only in uncertain domains. When everything in this world is within your grasp, when it offers you no possibilities, do you think you still have creativity?

 

Q: In these exhibitions, do you care about the communication between your work and the audience?

 

A: As a matter of fact… this involves a lot of questions. The first one is what we discussed earlier: whether the public exists or not. We always talk about art and the public. But first of all, does the public exist? Take our talking for example, are you the public or am I the public? If you are and I’m not, then why? On the other hand, if I am and you’re not, then what is that based upon? If neither of us can find a clear basis, then we both are the public. Then it does not exist a kind of…The artist and the public are always form a special relationship. This is the first question, which in itself is very conceptual.

 

The second question is, if there really exists a relationship between the artist and the public, then in fact the public is not communicating directly with the artist. The public and the artist…If we are to discuss relationship, then we need to talk about the system that underlies the relationship. The first system is the education system. Yet our educational system does not support any education on contemporary art… And secondly, in China, strictly speaking, we do not have any art museums – all our museums are organizations that rent spaces in order to survive. And such spaces do not bear any responsibility to educate the public. Consequently, our media always interpret the art experiences as a kind of public voice. Now think about it, the principal relationship between the public and the artist is formed under such circumstances. As a matter of fact, the relationship is produced by these three different systems. If the systems cannot be established, then you can imagine what the relationship will be look like. The third question is that I don’t think there exist a stable relationship between artists and the public.

 

Q: Do you have any views on your living conditions?

 

A: Take our views on cities for example. Artists, intellectuals, and even architects, all talk about cities, but what makes it absurd is not the criticism on cities, but the way of criticizing cities that has become completely homogenous. Sometimes criticism on this city becomes very homogenous, without any characteristics and distinctions. What’s more interesting is, the language and method of criticism have become more homogenous. I’ve attended many symposia on cities, which are essentially “criticizing galas”. And suddenly I noticed two things here: first, it’s very safe to criticize the city, from whatever angles. You can criticize it fiercely or call it bullshit. Because it’s very safe, because it does not involve any people, nor anything concrete things, and at the same time it declares your critical stance. This, to me, is opportunistic way. So, in such contexts, I always refuse to criticize in this manner, because it turns into a collectivity, a way of proving your stance – if you don’t criticize, you’re not… So, now I think another question arises. To criticize cities, but why? The English word “Why?” What is your stance? I hope to see you speak in your own manner, instead of in a public manner, even though what you criticize is a public space. With such an attitude, I think you can have your own judgment on this city. As a matter of fact, to me, cities are man-made landscapes, a product of our Utopian spirit. Idealism and Fascism are on this line, this steel wire; in fact, our entire city is built on this steel fire, its Utopian spirit and Fascist inclination just have a little distance. On this issue, what exactly is your attitude? Whether you’re an artist, a writer, you would use your own language and your own way to present your attitude. And it’s not just a declaration of attitude, because I’ve been hearing a lot – about this “attitude decides everything” thing, which is actually full of problems itself. Because “attitude decides everything” means it all depends on whether you raise your hand or not on every issue. That means going back to a public… In fact, when I worked on “Production” in 1996, I did an investigation on this issue. Why did I go to a lot of sites and public spaces? Why did they sit there all day and listen to the others talking about themselves? They are in fact sharing a daily discourse. In other words, certain individuals have become unimportant in such voices, or that they think it unsafe, so that through this collective site and collective discourse, certain individualistic things are transformed into a public voice with some [attitude] tendency. Thus, everyone shares this safety of public discourse. It’s the same with different ways of living. I think, first of all, living is not a kind of conceptual living; you don’t have to be lured by some hidden temptation, or challenged by some hidden theory. You put your life on a certain hint, and this hint reveals your cultural attitude of some sort. I think this is quite obvious in Beijing, and this is realized concretely in dressing, cigarettes you smoke, eyeglasses you wear – they are all injected with some kind of cultural identity. And I think cultural identity is also lethal: sometimes your attitude is determined by your cultural identity; when you become satisfied with your representing certain cultural identity, you actually stop thinking any further… This is how I feel I am living.

 

Q: Does the generalization of the Chinese art scene by those outside China have something to do with the situation in China now? And, apart from the external forces, does the strong similarity among artists actually have its internal reasons?

 

A: Well, actually I think, to me at least, this question… Like just now you wanted me to talk about my judgment on this thing at the present moment and what the basis of my judgment is. For example, sometimes we say a day is a long period of time, but that depends on specific events, such as brushing one’s teeth once, having a meal, which might take an hour. That is the relationship between time and events. But when something cultural is judged, or judged precisely, I think the time involved here is very long. Actually it’s like our show in 1997… all the way up to now. As you just said, this overall judgment on contemporary art in China, it’s still going on strong. I feel that this process takes more than ten years to finish; it might continue, because of the relationship between China and the world, such development…  So actually culture development is very very slow, especially in this country, where you see sometimes on the streets very fashionable cars and very fashionable cellphones, but many of our cultural institutions and regulations in fact date back to more than 20 years ago, without any modification in between. I’ll give you a simple example – films. Our censorship system on film has stayed virtually the same, and perhaps even more… Therefore, there is a large amount of things this society.. in fact, what have not changed do not show up, so what we do see are those that have changed. Then, seen from this angle, this society has in fact let certain things return to a basis where there are no such huge differences, which takes a very long time (to change). On the other hand, I think contemporary Chinese art is facing this same problem. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, when we were in the Netherlands, after the exhibition, I remember clearly, we felt shows of such large scale wouldn’t be happening ever again. Then, ten years later, to our great surprise, there are shows even more shocking than that one. There might be two factors at work here: the first one is that more countries, or more organizations, or more wealthy people have become interested in China, maybe then, partially… for instance, a certain genre of art, a certain foundation, started to get interested in the overall contemporary Chinese art. Now, due to the myth of China, more people and organizations have focused on China from various different angles. This might be another kind of change. Second, as more people get involved in this field, more artists would… they would make a relationship with it. This is a process that we must undergo; and I have noticed at the same time, that many artists have already started their work, who I think outnumber those of ten years ago.

 

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